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USF Coach Stands By Kicker


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USF Coach Stands By Kicker

By GREGG BECNEL of the Tampa Tribune

Published: October 30, 2007

TAMPA – Despite Delbert Alvarado's season-long struggles with inconsistency, University of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt said today he will continue to rely on the sophomore placekicker out of Robinson High.

"We've had some difficulty with the kicking," Leavitt said. "When [Delbert] gets focused, he's a very good kicker, and everybody sees that. He really needs to finish and kick well in the month of November. I trust him the most of everybody."

Alvarado, who is 11-for-20 in field-goal attempts this season, says he hasn't lost confidence in himself.

"As a kicker, you have to have a short memory," he said. "Whether you're doing great or you're struggling, you have to forget the last kick and look forward to the next one. I can be 0-for-6 in a game and that seventh one, you better believe I'm going to go in there knowing I can make it."

Leavitt also said in his news conference he wasn't sure when wide receiver Amarri Jackson (knee) and running back Mike Ford (ribs) would be able to play.

"Amarri, we don't know yet for sure," Leavitt said. "We had an MRI [today] on it and haven't gotten the results back. Mike is going to be interesting. I don't know. It kind of depends on Mike a little bit. That's going to be at the end of the week that we'll end up knowing with Mike."

Leavitt said poor tackling has been a big reason No. 20 USF has dropped consecutive games after starting 6-0 and being ranked No. 2.

"Our tackling on defense has to get better," he said. "We were a tremendous tackling team for the first number of games and that has not been as good [recently], and that's hurt us."

A few weeks ago, Saturday's game against Cincinnati had the makings of a huge matchup of undefeated teams with ESPN's College Gameday crew possibly setting up shop outside Raymond James Stadium.

But with both teams carrying two-game losing streaks, the importance of this game takes on a completely different meaning. The loser is eliminated from the Big East title race, while the winner will remain alive, though still needing plenty of help to win the conference.

"This game is as big as they come," Leavitt said. "There isn't any doubt about it. It is a huge game."

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That's the CJL we all know, loyal to a fault

Does he have any other choice?  Where is Benzer these days

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I'm still behind Alvarado. I believe playcalling should change a bit to benefit him on 3rd and long when inside the 30 to keep in towards the middle of the field. Boy does Delbert have trouble on those hashes

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Unless he has a better alternative at kicker, what do you expect Jim to say? He has to stick by Delbert...and that's the right move.

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Unless he has a better alternative at kicker, what do you expect Jim to say? He has to stick by Delbert...and that's the right move.

As we all know, Leavitt is loyal to the players.  However, that being said, the player roster shows  Morgan Riley, who is a junior from Murray State listed as a kicker.  Does anyone know why he hasn't been given a shot at the position?  Outside of Riley the only kicker on the team is Alvarado.  If Riley is unable to perform as well as Alvarado, then Alvarado is the man.  Plain and simple.

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I think A. Jackson will be out of season with ACL torn..  I hope Im wrong..  I had my ACL torn..

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Unless he has a better alternative at kicker, what do you expect Jim to say? He has to stick by Delbert...and that's the right move.

As we all know, Leavitt is loyal to the players.  However, that being said, the player roster shows  Morgan Riley, who is a junior from Murray State listed as a kicker.  Does anyone know why he hasn't been given a shot at the position?  Outside of Riley the only kicker on the team is Alvarado.  If Riley is unable to perform as well as Alvarado, then Alvarado is the man.  Plain and simple.

Teachey also.

Scary to think about how poorly these guys are in practice FGs that they won't give them a shot.  Maybe they'll do it differently in games?  Only one way to find out

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